Uttarakhand: Covid shadow over hotel bookings again | Dehradun News

ALMORA/MUSSOORIE: As 2021 draws to a close, hotels and homestays in Kumaon hills are fast getting sold out. According to hoteliers, hotels have already recorded a 90 per cent booking for the period between December 25 and January 1, 2022, in Mukteshwar and Ranikhet.
Similarly, about 75-80 per cent of hotel rooms have been booked for the upcoming holiday season in Nainital and Almora.
Neelakshay Pandey, owner of Ojaswi Himalayan Resort in Mukteshwar, told TOI, “We have a full house for the last week of December. Other hotels in the town are also recording bookings in large numbers.”
Rahul Choubey, district tourism officer, Almora, said, “According to the information we have received, most hotels in the hill town are already 80 per cent booked for the week ending January 2, 2022.”
The advanced bookings have surged in Mussoorie as well. “November has been very good for tourism and things are looking up for December as well, as bookings look encouraging. Bookings for the new year weekend are also picking up,” said Sanjay Aggarwal, secretary of Mussoorie Hotels Association.
However, the recent surge in Covid infections in Uttarakhand and the threat of the Omicron variant have raised concerns among the hoteliers. “The death of an elderly man due to Covid-related ailments in Nainital on Monday has triggered panic yet again. The area near Sherwood College has been turned into a mini containment zone. If cases continue to surge, our bookings will be cancelled. We badly need a good tourist season after two years of lull due to the pandemic,” said Mohan Rayal, owner of a resort near Kasar Devi temple, Almora.
Meanwhile, Ved Sah, secretary of the Nainital Hotel Association, said, “Rise in Covid-19 cases is certainly a concern. We hope that the pandemic situation remains under control and the state records a good tourist turnout. Hotel owners are prepared to host owners in line with Covid-19 guidelines.”
In a similar vein, Sanjay Aggarwal said, “So far, tourism has not been impacted. However, hoteliers are following all protocols.”
Speaking on the issue, Sandeep Sahni, president of Uttarakhand Hotel Association, said, “Hoteliers are a bit jittery because of the sudden emergence of this new variant right before the peak Christmas and New Year season. That said, there has been no impact on tourism so far.”

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